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Intuitive Judgment and Strategic Decisions


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How can senior military leaders (field and flag grade officers) use current research on intuitive judgment to improve the quality of their decisions? Intuitive judgment is critical to decision making. Dr. Gary Klein's Naturalistic Decision Making has heavily influenced military decision making training and doctrine. The research on heuristics and biases assesses the value of intuitive judgment different than Dr. Klein and indicates it is less effective when applied to the novel problems faced by today's senior military leaders. Dr. Daniel Kahneman (recipient of the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences) and his research partner Dr. Amos Tversky pioneered research on heuristics and biases. Kahneman and Tversky's findings on intuitive judgments and the related findings of the many heuristics and biases researchers they influenced can be incorporated into the decision making habits of senior military leaders. The end goal for every military leader is to improve the quality of decisions. For senior military leaders (field and flag grade officers), decisions are and will continue to be made in an environment that is time constrained, unknowable, and has too many possible outcomes to consider them individually. The research supporting this monograph is immediately relevant to the decision making of senior military officers and ten recommendations that can be incorporated into decision making processes are identified.



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